CBF Guide to creating and nourishing social relationships

CBF Guide to creating and nourishing social relationships

"Social relationships are more effective at reducing the risk of dying than any other."

Julianne Holtemstad

Episode 943 - You Project (Podcast)


Research has shown time and again that social relationships are key to a happy and healthy life. In fact, humans are social creatures by nature, and we often wilt without regular interaction with others. Socializing has been linked to lower rates of depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease. But, just like our physical health, our social health requires regular attention and care. Here's your guide to creating and nourishing social relationships that will last a lifetime.

Make Time for Yourself

Sounds counter intuitive to being social, but it's important to make time for yourself, even if it's just 30 minutes a day. During that time, you can do something that you enjoy, without having to worry about anything else. This will help you relax and recharge, so that you're more likely to be able to socialize when you do have the opportunity.

Set side time for socializing

Just like you would schedule a workout or a playdate for your kids, schedule time for socializing into your week. Whether it's coffee with a friend or drinks with co-workers, make sure you're carving out time to interact with others on a regular basis.

Be present

In today's age of constant distractions, it's more important than ever to focus on the person or people you're with when you're socializing. Put away your phone, make eye contact, and give the person your full attention. They'll appreciate it—and you'll get more out of the conversation as well.

Make an effort to connect.

Though some people are natural connectors, others have to work a little harder at it. If you find yourself struggling to make small talk, try asking open-ended questions or talking about topics that you're passionate about. The more effort you put in, the more likely you are to forge meaningful connections with others.

Don't be afraid to reach out

It used to be so easy to make friends at school, primarily because we haven't yet developed that fear of rejection to it's fullest. It can be tough as an adult to take the first step and reach out to someone, but it's worth it! If there's someone you admire or would like to get to know better, send them an email, invite them to lunch, or even just strike up a conversation the next time you see them. You never know where those connections will lead—but they almost always lead somewhere good. If they do say no, don't take it to heart, sometimes they are not your tribe, but you will find those people that you can connect with and feel great for it.

Take opportunities to connect

Get yourself out and about. Join a club, attend local events or just say hi to people when you are out and about.

You can't be social sitting on your couch. right? Not necessarily. I met some incredible people while I was in lockdown during COVID. People who inspired me, helped me to grow, and made me laugh. There are plenty of ways to connect with others in this digital age. There are Facebook groups, Twitter chats, and forums where you can chat with others who are going through the same things as you are. This can be a great way to get advice and motivation from others, without having to leave the house, or a less confronting way to connect to people you can then progress to more face to face activities.

Maintaining healthy social relationships is essential for our overall wellbeing—but it isn't always easy. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your social life is as rich and fulfilling as it can be!


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